Student spotlight

Jayhawk Journalists bring home national and regional awards and spread out across the globe for internship

Fall 2015 edition


Nathan Rodriguez, who has earned the J-School’s first doctoral degree, has been awarded this year’s ComSHER Eason Prize for top student paper, which is the largest paper award given to graduate students at AEJMC. Rodriguez presented his paper, “Vaccine Hesitant Justifications: From Narrative Transportation to the Conflation of Expertise,” during the ComSHER top paper session on Aug. 8.


Paul Pierce II (BSJ 2014)


Paul Pierce II (BSJ 2014)

Associate Professor Yvonnes Chen’s spring Strategic Campaigns students won a 2015 Bronze Quill award from the International Association of Business Communicators-Kansas City chapter. The Kansas City Quills Awards recognize the best in communications in Kansas City. The J-School student group JH6 Solutions created "Play With Your Food" campaign for Kansas Action for Children, a nonprofit child advocacy organization based in Topeka. The campaign created fun, engaging materials to targeted child-care providers in an effort to change the food and beverage environment in the child-care settings. Members of JH6 Solutions included Camden Bender, Jordan Mentzer, Lauren Rellihan, Taylor Zahrt and Sara Lipson and Paul Pierce II.


Amie Just has been named a Murray Scholar, from the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, which raises money to provide journalism scholarships to college students. To date, the foundation has awarded 93 $5,000 scholarships. Read the KU News story here. Just also has accepted a summer sports internship with the Washington Post.


Garrett Farlow received a commendation for outstanding performance in the 2015 Russophone Experiential Learning Program from the Gabriel al-Salem Foundation-KU partnership. Farlow worked as an intern this summer at the Kazakhstan Press Club. His award included a certificate and a check from the foundation for $250.


KU PRSSA chapter Fall 2015 officers were: Madison Meltzer, president; Alex Dahlgren, vice president; Shelby Bettles, secretary; Christie Cline, treasurer; Erica Golditch, social media manager; Grant Peterson, fundraising; and Max McBride, Jayhawk Communications.


"Good Morning KU" celebrated its 300th show on Nov. 11. The show's crew is pictured below. Director Cal Butcher estimates that 200-250 students have worked on “Good Morning KU” since its first episode.


KUJH-TV won a first-place Pinnacle Award for Special Event Coverage at the College Media Association's conference on Oct. 30. The coverage was on President Obama's visit to KU in January.  The following students were involved in the coverage:

  • Producer: Kayla Schartz

  • Anchor: Sierra Upton

  • Reporters: Tomas Hoppough, Cailey Taylor, Josh Kurelac, Scott Chasen

  • Photographers/Editors: Amy Follmer, Madison Coker, Luke Huttner

  • Director: Bret Ivy

  • Associate producers: Ryan Brinker, Johanna Hecht, Mary Kate Baker

KUJH-TV also won second place Pinnacle Award for Best Sportscast from May 1, 2015, with the following students:
Anchor/producer: Nick Price
Live reporter: Travis Calvin
Reporter: Taylor Kauffman

The University Daily Kansan also won several Pinnacle awards: 
Second place: Best Social Media Strategy
Third place: Best Online Ad, Best House Ad and Best Rate Card/Media Kit. 
Entries were received from 279 college and universities.


Hannah Reinhart, senior from Parkville, Mo., has been honored as one of the recipients of the 25th annual Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership Awards. The ExCEL Award provides a $500 award to two students who will plan the Blueprints Leadership Conference next spring in conjunction with KU's Student Involvement and Leadership Center.


J-School students marked News Engagement Day on Oct. 6 by tweeting videos about how they use and appreciate news. The J-School also distributed #IUseNews stickers to promote the importance of journalism and news.


The J-School honored six continuing and 23 new Wooldridge Scholars at its annual dinner Sept. 29 in the Kansas Union. The scholars are (pictured, from left) Alyssa Scott, Christina Ostmeyer, Sara Prendergast, Jordan McEntee, Molly Norburg, Emily Derrick, Natalie Hawley, Vanessa Gonzales, Garrett Farlow and Laura Furney.

Not pictured: Radwan Dayib, Christian Hardy, Allison Kite, Will Webber, Cole Anneberg, Reagan Argo, Kimberly Byrd, Callie Byrnes, Grace Haverty, Lauren Metzler, Grant Moyer, Leah Sitz, Danielle Sorensen, Margaret Stout, Sophia Templin, Teanna Totten, Candice Townsend, Kelsey Willits and Anna Wonderlich.


Matt Tidwell, doctoral candidate, has been appointed to the national Public Relations Society of America/MBA Business School Committee and the PRSA Committee's Research Subcommittee.


Four J-School students were initiated into Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest, largest and most selective all-discipline honor society. They are Katherine Miller, Roseann Pluretti, Sara Elizabeth Prendergast and Jessi Renae Royer.


Scott Chasen and Shane Jackson have accepted internships with MLB.com for 2016. Chasen will assist in coverage of the Kansas City Royals, and Jackson will help cover the Cleveland Indians. The two J-School students were selected after a nationwide search.


Morgan Cox will be an intern at the National Kidney Foundation during the spring semester.


Miranda Davis will be an intern this spring at KU Center for Research and on the Kansas City Star’s metro desk this summer.


Christian Hardy has been selected as an intern by the Sports Journalism Institute and will work in the Kansas City Star sports department this summer.